Care Suggestions for Contemporary, Antique and Heirloom Silver

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Silver, when properly maintained, will provide years of use and joy. The following silver care suggestions have been developed by our master silversmith, Mr. Alfred Crabtree, Jr.

Tarnish is caused by sulfur-containing materials like wool, felt, certain foods, fossel fuels, latex gloves, carpet padding, and certain plants. Light tarnish that appears golden is most easily removed when first noticed, by using a phosphate free detergent. Once tarnish turns to a light brown and/or black, a good non-abrasive polish is recommended. Polishes that offer a tarnish preventative within the polish help extend the life of polishing efforts. Preventative care is always a good course of action and can be achieved by using proper cleaning techniques.

  • The best way to prevent silver from tarnishing is daily usage.

  • We recommend using a polish specifically formulated for silver, like some made by W. J. Hagertys, Gorham and Goddards.

  • Avoid using abrasive polishes, all metal polishes, chemical dips and home remedies. The acids found in dips are corrosive to many types of metals, and can become impossible to remove from creases or cavities. The same holds true for galvanic action cleaning (a process using aluminum foil or metal plate). Additionally, silver can pit and /or peel using these methods of cleaning.

  • Avoid extreme heat, excessive cleaning and rubbing.

  • Always support candelabra arms from underneath to avoid breakage, when placing or removing candles.

  • Keep metal dry to help prevent tarnish and corrosion.

  • Rub in a back and forth motion, avoiding a twisting or torquing motion.

  • Apply polish with a clean, soft cloth and avoid steel wool or scouring pads.

  • Avoid immersing weighted objects in liquid. Excess moisture will ultimately result in damage to pieces.

  • Avoid using the dishwasher to clean your silver. Heat and abrasive soaps will damage pieces.

  • Always clean silver thoroughly after each use. Salt, mayonnaise, eggs, tomatoes, and citrus fruits left on surfaces for extended periods will cause a reaction that may permanently damage silver. Never leave salt in shakers or cellars.

    *Suggestions in no way indicate a representation, liability or warranty of any kind and are subject to our disclaimer of liability and warranty.

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